Topping the list of painful, expensive, permanent airsoft injuries are eye injuries–which means that your eye protection is no joke. Whether you’re playing a casual pickup game with your buddies or are engaging in a 40-hour milsim operation, you need something to protect your soft, squishy eyeballs.
After all, looking like a pirate is only cool around Halloween.
That’s why we’re going to talk about eye protection–namely the best eye protection, as well as how to pick it out, why you need it, and other pros and cons.
Let’s jump on in!
Why Do I Need Eye Protection?
We can’t believe we’d still need to answer this after all we’ve written about protecting your eyeballs from flying BBs, but for thoroughness’ sake, we’ll say it again–Airsoft BBs can cause severe facial and eye injuries. Life-changing, disabling, irreversible eye damage.
You do not want to be shot in the eye, so you’re going to need a sturdy set of eye protection, whether simple glasses, full-seal goggles, or even an entire face mask.
What To Look for When Choosing Airsoft Eye Protection
So, the airsoft gear market can be pretty damn overwhelming, which means it can be hard to know what you need to spend money on, and what’s just an expensive and unnecessary upgrade.
We’re going to take a few minutes to run through what you need to know about buying airsoft eye protection, so you can go shopping on your own–important for if you just aren’t feeling any of our top selections!
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is an organization that independently evaluates products to make sure that they meet all the market standard safety regulations. ASTM stamps can be found on thousands of products, including airsoft eye protection. “CE” is the equivalent mark for the European Union’s market.
Make sure that any eye protection you purchase has an ASTM or a CE stamp. If it doesn’t meet these standards, there’s a good chance that it won’t effectively protect your face against a BB.
Comfort and Fit
You can’t take your eye protection off in the field, so it’s important to make sure that you can wear them for hours without needing to remove them. You’ll want a pair that fits your face well, including over your glasses if needed, but also is snug enough to stay on no matter what and keep projectiles and debris out.
Look for heavily padded protection, anatomical fits, and positive reviews from other users. Don’t forget to check and make sure that your pick is breathable and won’t fog up as you sweat and run around.
There’s a variety of styles when it comes to eye protection. Your most basic option will be a set of safety glasses, but we warn against these for a few reasons–mostly because they don’t provide a seal, so BBs and debris can get in around the edges.
At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find full-head protection, that looks a little like a futuristic helmet from a video game.
In between, there’s a huge variety of goggles, full- and half-face masks, and more.
Your lenses are important, since they not only keep things from getting into your eyes, but they also let you see out.
You may not think about them too much, but they’re the primary part of your eye protection. Selecting a pair of eye protection often comes down to the style, color, and protection factor of the lenses.
Different colored lenses can be ideal for different lighting situations (which is why some sets offer a few different lenses you can change out). Features like anti-fog coatings and UV protection also can make your eye protection much, much more comfortable to wear.
Best Airsoft Eye Protection
We know you’re not here to listen to us wax poetic about lens coatings, but we’re glad you have–now you’ll know just what we’re talking about as we walk you through our top picks for airsoft eye protection!
Best Value Airsoft Goggles: Lancer Tactical Airsoft Goggles
Pinching your pennies? You don’t have to hurt your wallet to protect your eyeballs, it turns out. Thanks to Lancer Tactical’s Airsoft Goggles, you can get a great deal on a set of sturdy, full-seal goggles that will be comfortable all day.
They feature an adjustable band, as well as an anti-reflective cover that doubles as a cleaning cloth, as well as interchangeable smoke grey, clear, and amber lenses, so your goggles can keep up with changing situations.
Are there better options out there? Sure. But for the price, these goggles win our best value award!
Best Airsoft Goggles (that even fit over glasses!): Revision Military Desert Locust Goggle Basic
We’re a couple of glasses-wearing nerds around here, so it’s nice to have an option that can fit over our specs for those days we’re not feeling contacts. The Revision Military Desert Locust Goggles are, hands down, one of the most sturdy and protective sets of goggles we’ve ever used, so it’s just a bonus that they happen to accommodate glasses.
Revision Military builds their Desert Locust goggles to exceed not only ANS IZ87.1 and CE requirements for ballistic eyewear, but also U.S. military standards. These will definitely stop rogue BBs.
They have a huge field of view, sit comfortably on the face, are fog- and chemical-resistant, and can even be found with optional photochromic lenses, which shift as lighting conditions do. Revision Military includes an anti-reflective sleeve, a storage case, an anti-fog cloth, and a microfiber cleaning cloth, as well.
They’re a bit on the expensive side, but you’ll be wearing these for years and years.
Best Mesh Airsoft Goggles: Pyramex Safety G9WMG Low Profile Wire Mesh Goggles
So, you don’t need your goggles to be ANSI-certified to protect against ballistic impacts, but… why not? These Pyramex Low Profile Wire Mesh Safety Goggles are rated to protect against flying particles, and the mesh screen lenses mean that you’ll never have to worry about fogging.
They’re not too bulky, so they’ll feel great on your face, especially on hot days. Best of all? These goggles are super affordable
While I don’t personally like mesh goggles (dusty desert rat, here), they’ll get the job done if you’re concerned about humidity!
Best Tech-Powered Airsoft Goggles: ESS Eyewear Profile Turbofan Goggles
Want a high-tech answer to the dreaded lens fog? We’ve got you covered.
The ESS Eyewear Profile Turbofan Goggles are equipped with, as the name suggests, a tiny, battery-operated fan that draws fresh air into the goggles and push sweaty, humid, fog-creating air out.
With over 150 hours of operation time, the two-speed fan is great for long days playing in humid conditions. Even if you forget to turn off the fan after a match, the auto-off function will shut down the fan to save your batteries, and the water-resistant casing is good for all-weather wear.
The lenses are a neutral smoke grey, which is great for bright settings. They also block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, so they protect your eyes in more ways than one.
Sure, it might be a little bit of a goofy solution, but they’re surprisingly comfortable and we liked them well enough to include them!
Best Full-Face Airsoft Mask: Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle
While this pick isn’t strictly for airsoft, we don’t think that’s a bad thing. The Dye Precision I4 Thermal Paintball Goggle is a full-face mask that is rated to withstand twice the ASTM and CE impact standards.
It does a great job of not only protecting your eyes, but also your ears and lower face, without being bulky or impeding your movement or breathing.
The thermal lens is distortion-free and anti-fogging, regardless of how rainy, humid, or hot it may be on the field. With its closed-cell foam padding, you’ll be able to comfortably wear it all day long.
You can also find it in a bunch of different color combinations, so there’s a look for everyone, no matter what your personal style is.
Best Tacti-cool Airsoft Helmet: WoSporT Tactical G4 System Bump Helmet & Mask
Sometimes, you just want to look cool, and we get it. We may even have been there ourselves, which is why we know just what you need to satisfy your tacti-cool needs: the WoSporT Tactical G4 System Bump Helmet & Mask.
This system covers your entire face and head for phenomenal protection from flying BBs, while the stiff, protective mesh mask keeps you cool. The mask can be separated from the helmet, too, so you can use just the helmet on its own.
You get a carbonized PC lens that will resist scratches and abrasion, as well as rotating clamps and rail sections tho let you attach accessories like lights, communications, and more!
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to protect your eyes, but there’s always room for improvement (and as long as you’ll spend money on it, the industry will make it!).
For beginners or casual players, a simple pair of full-seal goggles like the Lancer Tactical goggles will hold you in good stead for quite a while.
If you’re looking for more protection and have the money to spend, the Dye Precision I4 paintball mask is a cool and comfortable option to check out.
Whatever you choose, just make sure that you always wear them correctly and every time you hit the field, and you won’t have to worry about flying BBs, dirt, or any other debris.
Do you have a favorite choice for eye protection? Is it on our list, or did we miss it? Let us know in the comments! While you’re here, give us a like on Facebook to see our latest articles!